Tenisha Eurie's son was struck and seriously injured by a car as a toddler while riding a scooter and he received a settlement for $31,000. Now, four years later, his mother has been charged with stealing from it. But is it really stealing when you are using the money on your toddler?
The Wall Street Journal story was short and details were sparse, but let's assume, for argument's sake, that Eurie used the money for food or school clothing or even rent. How is that stealing? According to the WSJ:
Prosecutors say Tenisha Eurie's son was seriously injured in the 2007 accident, when he was 21 months old. A $31,000 settlement from the accident was put into a trust fund, and a court ordered Eurie not to touch it until the boy reached 18.
Maybe she needed the money for him before then. It's possible, right?
Look, toddlers and young kids don't exactly earn their keep and they are expensive. If daddy lost his job and there was $31,000 sitting in an account that was marginally accessible, I could see using it and then paying it back.
This isn't to suggest that this is exactly what she did. Maybe she took the money and went out boozing and dancing and partying, but maybe she didn't. There are many possibilities for how she used that money, and I suppose if I were prosecuting the case, I would first want to know how she used it.
Also, it's confusing to me that the money was so easily accessible. Why was the mother even able to take money out if it belonged to the boy? There are many unanswered questions and certainly a short story with few details isn't going to answer them.
There are circumstances in which I could understand if she had taken the money, especially if she planned to return it. I am not sure it's "stealing" unless I know what she spent the money on.
So you think this was "stealing"?
Image via jollyUK/Flickr